emotive middle-grade story
Review,  Middle Grade

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante // emotive middle-grade story

The Trouble with Half a Moon was lovely, touching, and emotive middle-grade story with many layers and a great message. It was perfect for middle grade/teen readers.

emotive middle-grade story

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante

Publication Date : January 6th 2011

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre : Middle Grade / Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclaimer – I received e-copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author.
This post contains affiliate links.

Other books I read by the same author:

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil


Ever since her brother’s death, Dellie’s life has been quiet and sad. She lives with unspeakable guilt that the accident may have been all her fault.

But Dellie’s world begins to change when new neighbors move into her apartment building. Miss Shirley with her wisdom, and Corey, a five-year-old boy who is in desperate need of love and protection. Can Dellie find the strength to do for him what she couldn’t do for her brother— save him?


touching, and emotive middle-grade story

The Trouble with Half a Moon was beautiful middle grade story that revolved around Dellie’s life after her brother’s death and how she learned to let go of her guilt and have faith once again. The story was about tragedy, grief, loss, faith, friendship, teenage feelings, guilt, regrets, and love along with layers of other difficult subjects like abusive parents, bullying, and toxic relationship.

The writing was lucid, expressive, and fast paced. The story was written in first person narrative from Dellie’s POV. Her perspective was realistic and well written.

The story started with Dellie feeling scared with her apartment becoming a dangerous place because of new neighbor who shouts, fights, and one day gunshot going off but she feels she need to help that neighbor’s five yrs old boy, Corey, who is always hungry and reminds her of her brother, Louis, who died in an accident. Dellie blames herself for the accident. Even after a year of her brother’s death, her family is still struggling with grief, they won’t let her go out of the house, even to neighbor’s apartment. She is practically house arrested with only exception of school and for that too her father accompanied her. It was interesting to see how five yrs old kid knocking at her door for food slowly changed her life and helped her and her family get over their grief and guilt.

Dellie was great realistic character and her voice and feelings were clear and genuine. My heart went out to her. I could feel her guilt, struggle with the panic attack, how much she missed going out with her friends or anywhere she wanted. Her frustration towards her parents for not letting her go out, her understanding and love for her parents, her sisterly feelings for Corey was well written. It was sad how her best friend turned against her and how she tried to make her see she didn’t do anything wrong. She wasn’t perfect, she had bad days and she sometimes let it out by being rude but I liked her for realizing her mistakes. It was great to see how she helped Corey all the time even though she was scared she would let him down like she did to her brother. I loved how being with Corey helped her in believing in herself, get over her guilt, and even made things right with her parents.

Corey was such a lovely kid. It was hard not to love this kid who had abusive mother and yet he was so polite and cute all the time. Kayla was Dellie’s best friend but things got soured between them as story progressed and I didn’t like the way Kayla behaved. She was too fast to judge Dellie and she did many other things that made her bad friend but I liked how author showed she too had hard life and how she came around once she realized her mistakes. I liked Miss Shirley and her eccentric character. She was wise and lovely lady but attaching her character to magic and making her like a fairy godmother was cliché and unrealistic.

I enjoyed reading about other neighbors and Dellie’s classmates. All characters had depth and just right description. Best part of the book was so many layers in the book. It gives such a clear picture on everything through middle grader’s perspective. I also loved the way author showed two different young relationships through Michael-Dellie and Kayla-Bryan both different and opposite, one sweet, lovely and positive while other was negative making readers see what is right thing in relationship. Through Dellie’s family, we see how each person deals with grief differently. The message of faith through half moon was amazing and title taken from it was perfect.

Twist and turns were good but not surprising. The only thing that surprised me was Kayla’s betrayal. Climax was interesting. End was great with change in all characters and yet it wasn’t happily-ever-after for everyone which made it more realistic.

Why 4 stars-

I don’t get it why Dellie’s parents wouldn’t discuss grief and loss of Louis with Dellie. In the beginning, we see Dellie wasn’t sure if her parents blamed her for what happened to Louis and that remained a question. It was never discussed. We also read in the beginning therapist said Dellie was okay and didn’t need sessions while she clearly was having panic attacks and I’m surprised her parents or anyone else didn’t know about it. I feel like they almost ignored her guilt and grief in trying to deal with their own grief.

Overall, The Trouble with Half a Moon was lovely, emotive, and touching story with many layers and a great message. It was perfect for middle grade/teen readers.

I recommend this if you like,
realistic and relatable main character
story about loss and grief
well written characters
many layers
message of faith

Book Link

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Buy this book – Amazon.com | Amazon.in

Buy Middle Grade books – Amazon.com | Amazon.in

Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this or any book by the same author? Best middle grade book you read this year?


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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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